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4 Factors to Consider Before Paying for User Acquisition

5k user acquisition

For many indie developers, launching your monetization strategy can have a pretty low barrier. There are many things to consider, but once you implement a platform the earning begins! To maintain player growth and sustain monetization, developers will need to start thinking about the other side of the coin: user acquisition.

There is a lot to consider from your budget to target channels. When helping Chartboost customers navigate their UA strategy from early on to mature programs, we always identify key places to start. Below are four factors to consider before you launch your new user acquisition campaign.

Get resources for ad creatives

First things first, you’ll need to design ad creatives. Depending on platform from social media channels to mobile ad networks the specs will vary. Once you know the channels you’ll be using, you’ll need to define what kind of ads you need to create. For example, on Chartboost you can advertise with static, video, and playable ads (see Chartboost specs here). There are plenty of outside resources you can tap to help build creatives from freelance designers to custom interactive ads.

Creatives are very important, the click through rate (CTR) is always part of the formula for how the campaign is performing. Things like button placement, copy, and even assets used can impact CTR. Check out this article on optimizing vertical video creatives or interactive ads here.

While you have less control over the end conversion of a player from your ad, you do have a lot more control with the CTR and often the cost per install (CPI). More on how you can impact your CPI below with your app store optimization.

Start with testing

You’ve got your ad creatives, now it’s time to do some testing to help define your niche audience – the key players who will convert and become high value for your game. Testing means you need to be willing to take some risks and spend some budget broadly but you won’t truly understand your audience until you test. Often your audience demo may shift so early testing before launching large campaigns will become a norm for your UA strategy.

The first seven days of a campaign is also a critical time. This is where you should be the most risky to acquire the data as fast as possible, then pause and make optimizations based on that. To get the most competitive data, you’ll want to test around 100 installs. This will give you a clear idea of your full funnel and audience value. You can start testing with a $100-$200 daily budget but it will take longer to get this valuable data. I usually recommend kicking off at a higher daily budget to capture your niche and get moving faster.

Calculate your LTV

Once you have a successful testing under your belt you’ll want to calculate the lifetime value of your new players. This will help you define that niche target audience that will give you to most bang for your UA buck. It’s essentially multiple measurements of game health that includes retention, monetization and occasional organic growth – specifically a prediction of the value of each individual player.

We have an in-depth guide that links to multiple resources here, it’s a great place to start.

Optimize your store page

One element that supports installs is the crucial step after a potential new player clicks your ad – they land on your app store page. Have you optimized this so these potential new players download right away? Everything from screenshots, icons, to reviews help with final conversion. It’s also important to show consistency from the ad to the appstore. Differing quality or messaging may confused a potential new player and turn them away from download. Here’s another great resource for how to optimize your store page.

Now you’re ready to try out user acquisition to complement your monetization strategy. Keep in mind there are many places to start with smaller budgets, like Chartboost’s cross-promotion between your games (which is free). Onward to your next successful campaign!